Earlier this month the Marshall County Commissioners were asked to consider establishing a Marshall County Tourism Commission.
Culver Town Manager Ginny Munroe, Culver Town Councilman Rich West, and Plymouth City Attorney Sean Surrisi presented the commissioners with an ordinance that would create a new county board with a different number of members and appointed by other sources.
During the discussion, Munroe explained that legislation changed in 2018 removing the political party affiliation and residence requirements. They also pointed out that nothing in state statute authorizes a Chamber of Commerce to appoint members to the tourism board which is currently happening.
Munroe, West, and Surrisi said they would like to see a 5-member county board. Their recommendation would be one appointed by the Town of Culver, another appointed by the City of Plymouth, and 3 members appointed by the County Commissioners. They also suggest that members have some background in some form of tourism.
Munroe told the commissioners tourism is the number one industry in Culver and that between Culver, Plymouth, and Swan Lake, these three represent 95% of the revenue generated in the county from the Innkeepers Tax and Facilitator Tax. She said they feel the revenue received should be allocated accordingly, noting that the Culver Tourism Bureau hasn’t been a recipient of funds for several years.
Mark Van Der Weele, President of the Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau attended the meeting and requested a public workshop with the current Tourism Board and those from Culver and Plymouth interested in discussing the proposed Ordinance.
Van Der Weele reminded the commissioners and others that the tourism funding includes more than lodging; it also includes food and beverage.
Marshall County Commissioner Kevin Overmyer asked to two sides to get together and try and work through their differences and bring back their results to the commissioners.